Thursday, August 26, 2010

Shopping for Our Quilt Pieces

Tonight we shopped for our quilt pieces... I don't think it's a special day... it just so happened that everyone was home tonight.

We looked for our 100% cotton pieces of fabric (half of us chose 100% cotton felt pieces... but, had to return them and find the correct fabric) that represented us.

It was interesting to see the choices that the kids and Jason made. It was a fun family experience. We hope to get 100 squares from our friends and adoption acquaintances, so that we could create a memory for our little princess. We got 9x9 squares... just to make sure we had enough fabric.

Grandma Pirate is going to put the quilt together next spring when she returns from her trip on her pirate ship with Grandpa Pirate.

So, get your quilt piece to us soon. We are counting on it. It takes A LOT of quilt pieces to get to 100.

Sympathetic Mei Mei

My daughter continually amazes me. Today one of her brothers was crying... hysterically... because he misses Grandma. Grandma suddenly passed away June 26, 2010... and, he had lived with her. Since then, he has joined our family and become one of 3 gu gu's in the house.

Mei Mei and I sat on his bed while crocodile tears poured out of his little 12 year old eyes. I was rubbing his arm. Mei Mei was rubbing his arm too. She watched him intently... not moving... not even a little bit.

Her heart was his. She shared her panda bear with him and continued to pat or rub his arm... for minutes. We sat for 45 minutes with gu gu as he cried and shared with us his thoughts and feelings.

It was precious to see that she could be so attentive and alert to him.

Later, I found the golden retriever on the bed with gu gu. That's totally not okay though. There has got to be a line drawn about which family members are allowed on the bed. Furry ones must be excluded!

Went Through the Drive Thru

Yesterday I went through the drive thru without telling Gabriella what I was doing. I probably wasn't making the best choice either, because she had just told me she had to go potty. But, I have been trying to distract her this last week, since I learned that her need to go potty is not related to a urine infection. It is however related to two other things: total access to fresh water at all times and the opportunity to control her mama by asking to go potty (EVERY 15 minutes).

Anyway, that's not what this post is about.

I went through the drive thru and ordered a mocha. After being handed my mocha, I started to drive away. In the back I heard, "coffee... mama's coffee?"

I just had to smile. Boy, this girl has no idea. If I remember correctly, "Starbucks" was her third or fourth English word she learned. Those that know me, would believe it!

The Words She Now Knows

The initial findings on Gabriella's MRI have caused her doctor to be concerned that she will struggle with gaining language, that she will probably be ADHD, and that school will be a challenge.

I have to smile because she came to us on Gotcha Day, opened up her photo album and pointed to each of us and called us by name: "Mama, Baba, Jie Jie, and Gu Gu." By the grace of God, and truly another miracle, she has absolutely understood everything we have ever said to her. It is almost like she was a little Chinese princess (or empress) learning only English.

By the end of the two weeks in China, we were convinced that not a single word we spoke was missed. We are still convinced.

By her first week in America, she was repeating EVERYTHING we said, and she could say many words: potty, bottle, nigh nigh, so so pretty, wo ai ni (I love you), shoes, Starbucks, coffee, juice,

She also could point to and name her body parts: ears, nose (nosey), mouth (mouthy), toes (toesy), and eyes.

By the second week, she could also close her eyes if asked, wiggle her toes, raise her arms when you said, arms up/arms down, etc. She also knew what her foot, knee, belly button, head, hair, and legs were.

This week, thanks to Leap Frog's Letter Factory DVD, she knows the Aa says a and the Bb says b. She also repeats most of the motions and sounds to all the letters of the alphabet, but I think her favorite letter is Nn because they say "no"... which actually isn't a word she currently says... but, she sure does shake her head "no" when you ask her if she wants to go "nigh, nigh."

The first DVD of Your Baby Can Read has also helped Gabriella. She has learned to clap, wave, say elephant and tiger, and many other things.

The Words She Came With

We have been home with Gabriella about 3 1/2 weeks. And, I was just thinking the other day of the words she came with: Mama (Mommy), Baba (daddy), Jie Jie (sister), Gu Gu (brother), Gou, Gou (dog), Mao (cat), Baula (full), Niao Niao (potty), and xie xie (thank you).

Not sure if I got these correct... and, I have no idea how to put the marking on the words; but, as you can see, she had an extremely limited vocabulary... even in Chinese... at 3.5 years old.

Her receptive language seemed very good though. She understood what all the doctors and nurses requested of her when she had to be checked prior to leaving China. She knew where her eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and hands and legs were. She also lifted her legs when asked. She cried when the nurses told her what they were going to do... give her an immunization in 3 of her 4 extremities.

What's amazing, even miraculous, is what she has learned since Gotcha Day!